DIRGE, X

book of missing wings, 12 dancers [aphrodite, orpheus, canto, fresno, haiti, plato, stearns, zygote, hayden, emily, moonbeam, hazel]

We walked backwards in the snow thinking we missed epiphanies, not understanding until much later that this was strange.

Time’s fractures required resetting after the plummeting stairs. 

Love translated the traffic-clogged tollbooth into teal sea-covered fog.

In a black and white film the hero swims through clouds.

He was tired. He pushed on the gas. He opened the sky.

[Someone else’s tragedy can be so interesting.]

One lands at one point—and another, another.

The frozen dead rabbit isn’t an omen, but we didn’t tell anyone.

Bunny, we hope it happened fast.

Garlands of pink lilies circle her decisive death, accolades for a bewildered priestess.   

Some ghosts wrap silver shawls around our shoulders.

Scientists claim that without a human cerebral cortex, fish can’t cry, but poets know that their tears fill the oceans.

The house becomes the main character because we need it so much, its defunct cartography.

Some desire aloneness, that feeling of omission from the pack.

Bunny, we’ll have a proper burial once the disease has quelled.

The finest minds are determining reasons for the sudden deluge of frogs.

In the crowded parking lot an artist pushes his unfinished painting uphill.

We want to tell him that the canvas expanding is beautiful, but early night is spilling, blurring a turn from languid towards.

Plato misspoke.

The hemlock had been self-chosen.

We woke without any recollection of where we had been or knowledge of what to disclose as personal.

It was a documentary of mourning, a book of missing wings.

[No one meant for any of this to happen.]

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D I R G E, IX

measuring winter, 6 dancers [hazel, zygote, moonbeam, hayden, orpheus, stearns]

Absence defines the negative space of composition, the sculptor’s relief.

Song that is wanted is still song.

Soon there will be more determinations of inclines; protractors set against the shrinking sky.

The entertainment questioned as fair or foul play.

The panda cub in China somersaults new snow hills and does not appear to be lonely in this instance, at least.

Strangely, it becomes possible to live inside complexities that no one, (if) aside from you (if being doubtful by its very nature) will understand.

There will be more agenda items to cover, examine, sign off on.

Ink is still preferable in most scenarios, but for how long no one can say.

One wants elucidation not murkiness, but the will, itself, can be unkind.

When your situation flourishes robustly, I’ll send notification to effective parties, C.O.D., about your spiritual disarray.

We’ll do the math or lunch at a secret to-be-determined time.

Expect an important announcement, something unequivocal.

Ha-ha.

We’ve tallied the courage of all involved, who traveled unchartered distances, no longer self-betrayed.

Sometimes one has to dig underneath the snow banks savagely, bare-handed, from personal languishing.

A relinquishing of representation might identify the smallest crevices of light.

It won’t be long until the hour undoes itself, the appointment evaporates from the waiting room, all the keys go missing from the frozen piano.

The orchestra, interpretive and fluid, expands the stage constructed for dreamers.

Conceptual art at its absolute best, how strange: what we are—or might explain.

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D I R G E, VIII

erasures, 12 dancers [hazel, emily, moonbeam, canto, aphrodite, stearns, plato, fresno, bunny, zygote, hayden, haitil]

The strings were having an intense conversation before the gamelan interrupted; flat-lined the tempo, mood shift, the way a plane leaves sound.

The brass on hold during the extraterrestrial chanting.

Someone left the privacy wall open before I lost another level I thought I lost while I was something else before I was.

You know, the bargaining chips.

All of us are watching you bandage your Achilles heel for tonight’s unraveling.

Ophelia’s long hair flowing under ice but in a photograph.

Those aren’t the right clothes for a curbside funeral, but red suits you.

When the joker hit the keel, the captain’s blood sank too many packed in–fishing for better chapters.

Some souvenirs aren’t recyclable because chaos reifies us on repeat.

The house absorbed me into sheetrock not windows.

Intentions can’t move triangles because triangles can’t move beliefs.

When you solve the enigma, it ceases to exist.

You should know that we’ve deleted the camera footage.

Hazel was driving 230 miles per hour if someone asks for the report.

An A in elusiveness and perhaps gracefulness, at times; B- in extrication, C- in concision.

Absurdity, an occasional buy-in; the rest to be determined at the end of the show.

[Please find the pamphlets under your seats.]

The manuals didn’t explain the spinout, the violent scrimmage, the let’s-get-back-together tour through oblivious eternity.

Verbs in the story fall out.

The body never sleeps in the same Room.

The text I am writing [disappears].

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DIRGE, VII

orpheus cut out and singing, 7 dancers [bunny, fresno, canto, haiti, zygote, stearns, aphrodite]

Unhinged from the ceiling, the gray moth was wind-scatter by Wednesday.

Then nothing left, not even a frame for a sentence-shed.

Last winter the bicycle spokes catch a hand.

Everyone in a hurry to take the remote, give back a shoulder—until then.

Behind the TV, I am watering pieces of music.

During commercials we might live on the same channels, eat the same cereal

before Orphic chords scramble us through artery-streets in need of better cloaks for January.

I have grown new considerations for purple, for melody, for the play—the theatre misplaced and fuzzy.

One adjusts and can be two or three thousand bits at the bottom of the issue, the fairy tale lesson of the castle and boat.

Stay behind the dilapidated garage, sorry for your disheveled anguish.

Whom have you told?

The windows can be purified from bloodshed, the filthy blackboard effaced—thrown out, a fact.

Park your car where the bruised sky collects declarations, before expunged.

The house detaches from the gelatinous sea animal, but there is always a new friend.

Press here to become curious again, in love with nothing but the arrival of stage, obsessive singing.

In the meantime, we must go quickly; it is dangerous—and stunning.

Night swallows the sequin stars, moving the clouds cloudy.

You must drink the anodyne, sequestered in proverbs, regenerate eventually.

The sea urchin drowns the book of explanations in another book about a Book.

We’re inventing time to glue the paper guitar back on to Orpheus’ missing arm.

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D I R G E, VI

metaphysical hopscotch, 2 dancers [hazel, plato]

We played metaphysical hopscotch on Hemlock Street.

I couldn’t get past 5 without ending in sink holes.

My lucky green paperweight disappeared overnight with one velvet shoe.

The dog slept on 7 because he was bored.

My body outgrew itself like an onion,

a floating target of bluebirds and cardinal flying home.

You played the guitar to appease dissonance.

One chord became a mystic.

I slept in a billowy cocoon because my deceased father told me;

the spine of a book that mutated into a snow butterfly.

When the pages evaporated, I became air.

If I flail philosophically, the outer sky might pick up the slack, impelling star.

A few beheld time illusory in golden hammocks.

I made up my mind, but it turned itself back, mythologically.

No emotional atlas existed on my coffee table.

All lines cast east wouldn’t proffer a magical shad,

one obsidian eye staring at the emboldened sun.

I was jealous of another’s travel climbing cliffs of marble.

You were worried about me, and I laughed in the wrong direction;

traveling backwards on a winding train, inventing trees.

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D I R G E, V

veiled sentences, 4 dancers [hazel, canto, emily, moonbeam]

Hired to play sonatas to tire the insomniac, the pianist falls asleep on the high keys and dreams of daffodils.

The insomniac smokes a cigar in a room of books he’ll never read but finds comforting, all those veiled sentences.

Some narratives split melody and make the audience uncomfortable.

I didn’t want a ticket to this.

Not everything hurts at once, but cascades.

We could love each other, but we are too poor.

The last time we spoke, I told a few lies I don’t remember.

Everything was disconcerting at times, but time doesn’t follow every path lost on the mountain.

Removed from the garbage, the broken cello becomes a hollow drum in the north end where sirens punctuate sketchy poker games.

The foreign coins in our pockets from a country where we may have loved are useless now that we fear conclusions.

Programmed to explicate literary texts, the robot crumbles as if crying before the necessary reboot.

Damn it.

We were so close.

Perhaps it was the missing context, the boat unmoored by the storm.

I can’t sleep because I might fall back into the Book of the Dead, become a plaintive ballet inverted.

There was no avalanche of hurry now that my body was becoming a wing.

We rose anointed until the oil on our foreheads dried.

The next time we speak, I won’t tell you about the frozen rabbit or how I burned twenty-six letters, your favorite scarf.

I might tell you I miss the person you wanted to become before you slip into trees.

The first snow will cover your footsteps before I can find the house.

Once winter settles in, there will be mending—the couch pillows, the warmest coat pockets, the holes in my stomach and brain.

The cello strings may come in handy.

My breath that fills the sealed jar can’t help anyone who loses breath, but it’s there on the mantle just in case.

With the names torn from labels, the different white pills were confused.

Sleep will eventually find the insomniac and sketch pronouncements like harmonies across an ethereal plane.

We’ll skate figure eights under stars subtracted by the emptied moon.

When the pianist finally wakes up, she’ll carry new pages.

Now that you know all this, maybe you’ll come back to tell stories of progression without any disclaimer, emotional cost.

I’ll tell you how I’m learning to abbreviate myself.

I’m twirling tulips.

I’m bathing the woman who sings.

I’m skiing internal ice.

I’m a rusted door in the forest.

I’m diagonal.

I’m counting angles.

I knew something.

I digress.

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D I R G E, IV

hours of tangle, 5 dancers [bunny, hazel, haiti, zygote, hayden]

A small girl paints orange rain not knowing it’s fire.

Her father tells her that goldfish are falling from the sky.

Shortfalls of logic become pillows when the voices of the dead echo against the slate of darkness.

The threshold from sleep can be arduous before hours of tangle.

When the brain slips under mud, it’s difficult to form sentences, become someone.

In an unknown city, identity is stolen by cracked sidewalks.

The wallet traded for a computerized watch, but the password purposely forgotten.

My new name is Joy, Storm, Willow, Stone, Saturday.

My eyes are fading against the incalculable sum.   

Gunshots in the distance, hardly noticeable at all, but perimeters are porous.

Strangers will commiserate as if they’ll be friends but will never see each other again.

The Book of Sorrows placed on the highest shelf that requires a missing ladder.

After a singular parade for clarity, some of the pages were ripped and burned for everyone.

The Dictionary of Longing secured under the bed where the cat hides when it rains.

When the limelight tree has been pruned, an abandoned bird’s nest presents its circular intricacy.

The opera singer dies singing, and the mime will finally speak of meadows.

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D I R G E, III

flight without feather, 4 dancers [fresno, plato, aphrodite, stearns]

Everyone slows down and locks the rearview mirror when the ambulance arrives.

Look how the lightning subtracts the selves gone amok, grown awry!

It’s fortuitous, calmly, to entertain such shallowed breaths of equability; poise, if you will—

before the magnifications of the most-recent duplicities spill with the inconsolable cellos right off the page.

Our hummingbirds have grown their emerald bellies while we were away from all the rigmarole.

Three of them now, flying backwards, skirt the horizon’s thinning margins with soft, teal.

The last scattering of verbs coagulated all the prepositions.

You know—how wax burns before it mitigates memories of the dead conductor’s elegant hands;

their bones a map of flight without feather.

Are you ready? We’re pitching left to right now.

[Fresno is afraid.]

Go ahead, call your person quickly from the green room, but the WiFi is down due to the storms.

Plato, Aphrodite, and Stearns are playing with Playdoh in this absurd sandbox.

Ready?

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D I R G E, II

the green room, 13 dancers [hazel, fresno, plato, aphrodite, stearns, bunny, haiti, zygote, hayden, moonbeam, orpheus, emily, canto]

When the dreams were cremated on Saturday, they left a bad taste in our mouths.

The ghosts hid the small deaths—watching us.

It was odd—the leave-taking, micro-swimming the rain, shaking fallen coats, making room for room.

If the operation had been successful, the stranger’s kidney would become family.

Disease, you know, can gnaw lungs.

Please don’t talk about—shush!—the narrative fray—until the final cymbal crash.

Our most accomplished choreographers can expose the rubble of the finest lost cities, the collapse of the poorest countries.

The dancers should get ready in the green room for this dirge.

Hazel, Canto, Fresno, Moonbeam, Plato, Stearns, Aphrodite, Orpheus, Bunny, Emily, Hayden, Haiti, Zygote.

You mustn’t say anything about the Victorian Gothic, Sci-fi set.

The sculptor went a little crazy.

The catbirds in the high-pitched eves calculate your every move.

Canto’s amber marble eyes, those of a miniature goat or wolf—have locked the stranger’s in the front row;  gray, by default.

Ensconced, the ambulances tread 911.

Call a priest. Awake the sleep-laden soothsayer.

Throw rice at the submerged iPhone at the bottom of the stolen car ditched in the dirty river.

Roll down the windows for shallow air.

Hurry.

We’re one absurd equation away, strings in cold soup, a possible vacation.

Tired fisherwomen count days of impossible catch, wipe salt from their decaying lips.

It’s imperative to jettison this Book based on good behavior.

You’ve been very patient—you with your pockets inside out.

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D I R G E: a ballet for 13 dancers, I

prelude with cellos, or–the Book of the Dead, 1 dancer [hazel]

I slept in the Book of the Dead and woke with parchment scrolls blooming tired magnolias from my unhinged mouth.

Lugubrious cellos attempted to climb me back to the mud-encrusted, brick floor–but I panicked.

When my thinking can trace some semblance of surface, I might explain.

Some will pigeonhole verbose.

If I erase, the Dreams of the Dead multiply.

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